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Author Topic: Just wait, this is coming down the pipe.  (Read 3320 times)
killer2021
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June 18, 2011, 08:24:28 AM
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So we all know that bitcoin has the power to change the world (if everyone uses it). However, we are going up against a very powerful institution so powerful that I would call it the single most powerful institution on the planet - the banking institution.

This system was established when mankind was making the transition from commodity money to representative money. People would use their gold/silver and deposit it in a bank, they were issued a receipt of their deposit which they could use to redeem the gold/silver on demand. People began to use these receipts as money instead of gold/silver. This was when the banks started to gain power during the 7th century. Ever since, the banks have been establishing an ever tighter grip on society.

Today, banking institutions are insanely powerful both directly and indirectly. Over the centuries they have created vast fortunes and centralized these fortunes into a few family dynasties. They have a tight grip on society and control virtually every industry indirectly. Government and mainstream media are in their backpocket. Bought and paid for.

"Give me control over a nations currency, and I care not who makes its laws.”
Baron M.A. Rothschild

My friends, this is what bitcoin has the power to do - change the world by taking the power from the banks and giving it back to the people.We haven't had decentralized money for well over the past 1,000 years and now bitcoin has the power to do that.

With that being said, bitcoin has an uphill battle. The banks will try everything in their power to destroy bitcoin. They will draft laws against bitcoin and they will demonize people who use bitcoin. For quite some time, we have sought to escape these banks. We have used gold/silver to slightly escape. Those who bought in, were rewarded handsomely with silver/gold going through the roof. However, we have never completely been able to escape the banks. That was before bitcoin. Now we have the solution. Bitcoin is the final solution to the banking cartels of the world. With bitcoin we have the power to completely escape the banks.

Right now, the waters are relatively calm, but just wait bitcoin will be the next wikileaks. On the front page of every newspaper, on the daily news all demonizing the, "threat" of bitcoin. They'll say anything and everything to destroy bitcoin - it supports terrorists, it will destroy the economy, it isn't safe. Anything and everything, just wait. You've seen what they've done to assange.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXQozTxQSiE

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June 18, 2011, 10:05:51 AM
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Banks earn money by giving loans for buying houses etc and giving interest on savings. (Since they use savings to give loans) They can still do this with bitcoins.
They can create safe storage for bitcoins, solving the problem with inheritance, and exchange services. So yes there will still be a need for banks.

But ofcourse it can force them to cut their made up fees.


 

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June 18, 2011, 10:29:33 AM
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Excellent post, killer!

It provides a great backdrop to the 2 questions I have:

(1) will the technical fundamentals of Bitcoin make it so resilient to being destroyed by the central powers that a significant enough number of people will continue to use it even if it were outlawed to significantly disrupt the existing economy?

(2) if so, will they be able to control Bitcoin by assimilation, integrating it into the fractional reserve banking system etc etc. until we're effectively back to where we are now?

I suspect that the answers are (1) yes and (2) no

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June 18, 2011, 10:49:41 AM
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Banks earn money by giving loans for buying houses etc and giving interest on savings. (Since they use savings to give loans) They can still do this with bitcoins.
Banks earn money by giving loans more than 20 times higher in total than their own funds. They cannot do this with bitcoins. They can only lend a bitcoin for a bitcoin they possess. They wont do much profit with it.

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rikur
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June 18, 2011, 10:53:39 AM
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Banks earn money by giving loans for buying houses etc and giving interest on savings. (Since they use savings to give loans) They can still do this with bitcoins.
They can create safe storage for bitcoins, solving the problem with inheritance, and exchange services. So yes there will still be a need for banks.

But ofcourse it can force them to cut their made up fees.

Umm, no. They don't use savings to give loans. This is the most important aspect of our current monetary policies you need to understand:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractional-reserve_banking

To wrap it up: banks create ~98% (2% is the reserve requirement in EURO zone at least) of the loan out of thin air. Just think about it. They only ad the digital numbers to your bank account and in return, you promise to work 9-17 for the next 20 years to pay the loan back.

That's why I call the fiat money as the modern slaver whip.
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June 18, 2011, 11:01:08 AM
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A, banks don't make money out of "thin air" they make it out of the future obligation of the borrower. The problem is that all money is thus an exponential debt, and this is obviously unsustainable.

B, "fiat" is not the central characteristic of debt based money, fiat is just a name for what is acceptable to be paid in taxes. Time was chickens and cows were "fiat", time was gold itself was "fiat". So whining about fiat currency like you've done here doesn't really make sense. It's like saying the Nazi's were evil because they spoke German, or Stalin was bad because he had a big mustache. It's beside the point. One day bitcoin itself might be considered fiat in some country somewhere, who knows. I wouldn't recommend it though.

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June 18, 2011, 11:02:03 AM
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Bitcoins can easily be stopped. If Bitcoin sees steady adoption and abuse is not widespread it can probably coexist with, and gradually take some market share from banks. If it continues it's current militant/illegal approach it will be gone fairly quickly.
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June 18, 2011, 11:05:14 AM
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Banks earn money by giving loans for buying houses etc and giving interest on savings. (Since they use savings to give loans) They can still do this with bitcoins.
Banks earn money by giving loans more than 20 times higher in total than their own funds. They cannot do this with bitcoins. They can only lend a bitcoin for a bitcoin they possess. They wont do much profit with it.
Yes, they can.

If a bank / webwallet (essentially the same thing) keeps a balance on your account, you have no guarantee that every single BTC is backed by an actual BTC in their possession. Only at the moment everyone would withdraw all of his bitcoins, you could find out whether said webwallet/bank REALLY has all the bitcoins they claim to have. It would be possible for them to offer interest and give out loans, basically causing fractional reserve banking on a smaller scale. The difference is that you do not HAVE to use these systems, and can easily use Bitcoin without relying on banks/webwallets with practices like these.

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killer2021
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June 18, 2011, 11:08:50 AM
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Excellent post, killer!

It provides a great backdrop to the 2 questions I have:

(1) will the technical fundamentals of Bitcoin make it so resilient to being destroyed by the central powers that a significant enough number of people will continue to use it even if it were outlawed to significantly disrupt the existing economy?

(2) if so, will they be able to control Bitcoin by assimilation, integrating it into the fractional reserve banking system etc etc. until we're effectively back to where we are now?

I suspect that the answers are (1) yes and (2) no
My opinion
1) The fundamentals of bitcoin are VERY strong. There are a few minor issues which will be worked out over time. As more people adopt the bitcoin currency the power of bitcoin will increase and so will the economy. Eventually we will hit a point where EVERYONE will use bitcoin simply because its more efficient and makes economic sense to do so. Countries that outlaw bitcoins will be left behind and eventually those laws will be scrapped because they are being left out of the bitcoin economy. Its like people using dollars. Right now oil is traded in dollars because its easier to have everyone, "on the same page." per say. The same thing will happen to bitcoins. Everyone will use bitcoins because it just makes everything easier.  


This is a good chart to show where bitcoin is headed. The innovators wrote the source code, mined the early bitcoins, developed the early exchanges. Now we are in the early adopters phase where people buy and sell bitcoins for real money and use them for commerce, mainly technical savvy people. These people will develop technologies that make bitcoins EASIER to use for EVERYONE else. Bitcoin banks, more complex exchanges so on so forth. The next step will consist of getting average non-technical people to use bitcoin. The only way this will happen is if bitcoin is easy to use, can be spent at many places, and is secure. If we make it over the top of the hill then bitcoin is definitely here to stay for the long term. The late majority will probably be forced to switch over to bitcoin because everyone prefers to accept bitcoin over other forms of (riskier) currency. The laggards will just be people who don't trust online currency, mostly consist of old people.

2) They might be able to but only if we allow it. For example, think of the old days where we had full reserve banking where people put their gold/silver coins in the bank in exchange for certificates. Then people simply traded those certificates and never got their gold/silver out. Its going to be the same way. Bitcoin will be full-reserve banking BUT not if the banks start over issuing bitcoin certificates. Therefor, the important thing to mention is to keep most of your bitcoins in your wallet and not in a bitcoin bank.

Bitcoin banks will exist but they will operate more like small time companies and not the current mega corporations we have today. Bitcoin loans will probably be at high interest rates, since it has to be full reserve and most people won't keep large amount of bitcoins in the bitcoin banks. Instead the bitcoin banks will operate by providing currency exchange or offering debit cards. The debit cards would be able to be used at any store that accepts credit/debit cards. You would keep some bitcoins in the bank and then when you processed the transaction the bank would pay the transaction and convert the relevant BTC to cash on the fly. They would charge a small fee for this and BTC to BTC transactions would be free. They won't be that profitable once the market has matured.

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killer2021
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June 18, 2011, 11:25:24 AM
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Bitcoins can easily be stopped. If Bitcoin sees steady adoption and abuse is not widespread it can probably coexist with, and gradually take some market share from banks. If it continues it's current militant/illegal approach it will be gone fairly quickly.

Easily be stopped? Hardly. You have to realize that the government is slow to react. Even if the US outlaws bitcoins or another countries does then there are still 200+ other countries where it is legal. The bitcoin economy in those countries could still be growing and it might get to the point where the US wants a piece of this action so they legalize bitcoins again.

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btcLeger
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June 18, 2011, 12:05:44 PM
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Yes, they can.

If a bank / webwallet (essentially the same thing) keeps a balance on your account, you have no guarantee that every single BTC is backed by an actual BTC in their possession. Only at the moment everyone would withdraw all of his bitcoins, you could find out whether said webwallet/bank REALLY has all the bitcoins they claim to have.
Its not essentially the same thing, you are not aware of how our banking system works. You are right with what you said above but the key difference is another:

A BTC-bank can only lend what it possess, no matter if own funds our customer savings. If the webwallets/accounts of customers + own funds add up 100k btc (e.g.), the btc-bank can only lend 100k btc maximum, because each bitcoin is unique.

A Dollar/Euro/etc.-bank can lend 20+++ times the money it possess in own funds and customer accounts. 100k$ in funds+accounts lead to millions of loans.

Think of btc as of gold. A gold-bank can only lend whats physically in their safe. They cannot create 100k ounce of gold out of 5k.

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June 18, 2011, 12:11:28 PM
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Therefor, the important thing to mention is to keep most of your bitcoins in your wallet and not in a bitcoin bank.

Not necessarily. Because of the free nature of Bitcoin, your 'bitcoin bank' might be a geek friend down the road. Or a community lending scheme that you trust. Or an independently audited fund (like the Sprott silver fund). These things become possible with Bitcoin.
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June 18, 2011, 12:16:21 PM
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Easily be stopped? Hardly. You have to realize that the government is slow to react. Even if the US outlaws bitcoins or another countries does then there are still 200+ other countries where it is legal.

Easily. If there is one persistent fallacy that is repeated over and over again on these forums, that needs to be put to rest it's this "Bitcoin is unstoppable" and "we don't need anyone" foolishness. The Developers don't think it's unstoppable- and they know the code back to front.

Buh buh... Bittorrent! Bittorrent is a copyright issue, currency is potentially a National Security Issue. There is a world of difference between Judicial Enforcement (taking your domain away) and National Security Enforcement. We have seen the US government take limited judicial action against cybercrime- yet people judge their capabilities by that. Only one time have we seen them use tactical measures against a cyber-threat. These are the people who brought us Stuxnet- pardon me for unladylike language but they get the nod and they will f*ck your sh*t up.

Tough talk aside, push comes to shove you are not going to take on USCYBERCOM from your living room couch.

Every lawyer I have asked has insisted there are a dozen ways under interpretation of CURRENT laws Bitcoin could be made illegal for all practical purposes. Then all they have to do is scare off enough users that there are too few remaining for the currency to be viable for trade.

There are already illegal forms of data, already laws governing the legal use of encryption, already warrentless search and seizure of data carrying devices during traffic stops and border crossings- you have VERY few privacy rights on your data storage devices. Asset forfeiture laws already put the burden on YOU to prove where your assets come from. The IRS is already imposing it's will on foreign banks around the world- and getting compliance. Bitcoin is compliant with Islamic banking law- no usury, what do you think is going to happen when the Arabic forum goes live here? You think the Feds are going to be wringing their hands wishing they could do something but we're just too clever for them?

Don't care if they make it illegal? Going to fight the power? Okay, lets hope every last one of you had been on Tor or an overseas proxy every single time you logon- because the Bitcoin.org server, with it's entire membership database and IP logs are located in the US and could be subpoenaed in a heart beat.

Make people scared to use bitcoin? No problem. All they have to do is drop a few USB sticks in the evidence box next time they bring down a KP ring and every soccer mom in the country will be screaming "won't somebody think of the children!". No one is going to use and trade a currency if it means getting dragged into court for possessing ChildRapeCoins and becoming a registered sex offender. Oh sure- they don't have a case, you're right- but no prosecutor is going to let that loss go on his record (soft on KP, the guy got off on a technicality) and 100k USD later you'll plead it down after your mugshot has been plastered all over the web. People are getting jailed for possessing cartoons- it can happen.

So can it with the "unsinkable ship" "they can't stop us" talk. Yes. They. Can. That does not mean they will- but it's pure hubris of the most ignorant sort to think it can't.
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June 18, 2011, 01:17:22 PM
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Easily be stopped? Hardly. You have to realize that the government is slow to react. Even if the US outlaws bitcoins or another countries does then there are still 200+ other countries where it is legal.

Easily. If there is one persistent fallacy that is repeated over and over again on these forums, that needs to be put to rest it's this "Bitcoin is unstoppable" and "we don't need anyone" foolishness. The Developers don't think it's unstoppable- and they know the code back to front.

Buh buh... Bittorrent! Bittorrent is a copyright issue, currency is potentially a National Security Issue. There is a world of difference between Judicial Enforcement (taking your domain away) and National Security Enforcement. We have seen the US government take limited judicial action against cybercrime- yet people judge their capabilities by that. Only one time have we seen them use tactical measures against a cyber-threat. These are the people who brought us Stuxnet- pardon me for unladylike language but they get the nod and they will f*ck your sh*t up.

Tough talk aside, push comes to shove you are not going to take on USCYBERCOM from your living room couch.

Every lawyer I have asked has insisted there are a dozen ways under interpretation of CURRENT laws Bitcoin could be made illegal for all practical purposes. Then all they have to do is scare off enough users that there are too few remaining for the currency to be viable for trade.

There are already illegal forms of data, already laws governing the legal use of encryption, already warrentless search and seizure of data carrying devices during traffic stops and border crossings- you have VERY few privacy rights on your data storage devices. Asset forfeiture laws already put the burden on YOU to prove where your assets come from. The IRS is already imposing it's will on foreign banks around the world- and getting compliance. Bitcoin is compliant with Islamic banking law- no usury, what do you think is going to happen when the Arabic forum goes live here? You think the Feds are going to be wringing their hands wishing they could do something but we're just too clever for them?

Don't care if they make it illegal? Going to fight the power? Okay, lets hope every last one of you had been on Tor or an overseas proxy every single time you logon- because the Bitcoin.org server, with it's entire membership database and IP logs are located in the US and could be subpoenaed in a heart beat.

Make people scared to use bitcoin? No problem. All they have to do is drop a few USB sticks in the evidence box next time they bring down a KP ring and every soccer mom in the country will be screaming "won't somebody think of the children!". No one is going to use and trade a currency if it means getting dragged into court for possessing ChildRapeCoins and becoming a registered sex offender. Oh sure- they don't have a case, you're right- but no prosecutor is going to let that loss go on his record (soft on KP, the guy got off on a technicality) and 100k USD later you'll plead it down after your mugshot has been plastered all over the web. People are getting jailed for possessing cartoons- it can happen.

So can it with the "unsinkable ship" "they can't stop us" talk. Yes. They. Can. That does not mean they will- but it's pure hubris of the most ignorant sort to think it can't.

We are talking about the ENTIRE bitcoin network here.

I think we are all aware that a person can potentially be arrested, jailed, tortured, raped for having bitcoins (if a law were made against them).

Likewise, I think we are all aware that our rights are being destroyed.

Also just look at wikileaks, this was supposedly the biggest fucken national security leak EVER. Yet, to this very day I could go online AND EASILY find all the leaked cables on THOUSANDS of mirrored servers. Seems to me like the government couldn't do jack to stop wikileaks, just throwing twigs at wikileak's steal plated armor. The wikileaks team probably just laughs at it.

Lets get this straight, if the US government or any other government can't stop the biggest fucken national security leak ever, what makes you think they can stop a massive p2p currency exchange network? Which has tens of thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands of nodes operating in every single country in the entire world. The ONLY way bitcoin can be stopped is if EVERY SINGLE country works together to stop it. We've all seen how great these countries are at negotiating. Iran would jump on bitcoin in a second if they knew it could collapse the dollar.

From what I've seen the government can't do jack to stop bitcoin except throw a twig ever now and then.

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June 18, 2011, 01:20:42 PM
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Easily be stopped? Hardly. You have to realize that the government is slow to react. Even if the US outlaws bitcoins or another countries does then there are still 200+ other countries where it is legal.

Easily. If there is one persistent fallacy that is repeated over and over again on these forums, that needs to be put to rest it's this "Bitcoin is unstoppable" and "we don't need anyone" foolishness. The Developers don't think it's unstoppable- and they know the code back to front.

If Bitcoin is not unstoppable from a technical point of view, then it's already dead in the water. Has anyone really claimed this?
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June 18, 2011, 01:54:01 PM
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Also just look at wikileaks, this was supposedly the biggest fucken national security leak EVER. Yet, to this very day I could go online AND EASILY find all the leaked cables on THOUSANDS of mirrored servers. Seems to me like the government couldn't do jack to stop wikileaks, just throwing twigs at wikileak's steal plated armor. The wikileaks team probably just laughs at it.

Wikileaks- is redundant, largely static, with fallbacks, an insurance package, and a small number of individuals outside of the US to take legal action against.

Bitcoin- an interconnected, dynamically updated open system subject to cascade failure, with a huge number of users just sitting there posting about their crimes openly on a US server just waiting to be plucked. It's robust, it's not bulletproof and the Developers never said it was.

I get where you are coming from, I know that no matter where this goes you won't believe me. So email the above to Gavin and ask him if it's unstoppable. Ask him if it could withstand a coordinated nation-class cyberattack. If we can really do "anything we want and they can't stop us". That sort of Government action is almost unprecedented so Bitcoin can still be successful- it will just need to be more civilized than some members wish to be. What do you think Gavin has been trying to do in all those interviews?

From what I've seen the government can't do jack to stop bitcoin except throw a twig ever now and then.

Well whatever you've seen you should tell the developers because they've been insisting the opposite and trying to put a good face on Bitcoin. Once they realize that they were wrong and it's "unstoppable" maybe they won't have to bother.
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June 18, 2011, 02:07:48 PM
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Easily be stopped? Hardly. You have to realize that the government is slow to react. Even if the US outlaws bitcoins or another countries does then there are still 200+ other countries where it is legal.

Easily. If there is one persistent fallacy that is repeated over and over again on these forums, that needs to be put to rest it's this "Bitcoin is unstoppable" and "we don't need anyone" foolishness. The Developers don't think it's unstoppable- and they know the code back to front.

If Bitcoin is not unstoppable from a technical point of view, then it's already dead in the water. Has anyone really claimed this?

Watch this interview with Gavin Anderson bit coin programmer/administrator. It's eye opening, especially what he says about working with the government,  using bitcoin is not anonymous, the exchanges are registered with the government and complying with all laws.  This guy also gave a talk to the CIA this week. You can find the link for that yourself.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7368784n
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June 18, 2011, 02:29:56 PM
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Easily be stopped? Hardly. You have to realize that the government is slow to react. Even if the US outlaws bitcoins or another countries does then there are still 200+ other countries where it is legal.

This was the first glaring nonsense I saw when discovering BTC. "The invincible geek"  you guys are getting way way ahead of your self. There are 10,000, 800 pd gorillas (i.e. goverments, mobs, hacker groups etc etc) that WILL F&ck your Sh%t up!  After all the chest beating and other utter nonsense I saw spewed about untouchability, people then started getting hacked. MT.Gox is a MAJOR vulnerability for the BTC community. YOu essentially have one company handling 90% of the BTC economy, and how many people there are defending it with what skills....all unknown. The latest security hole seemed like a no brainer, but it existed. Youve got ALOT of growing up to do. The ongoing gorilla assault will speed that along.

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June 18, 2011, 02:30:43 PM
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Easily be stopped? Hardly. You have to realize that the government is slow to react. Even if the US outlaws bitcoins or another countries does then there are still 200+ other countries where it is legal.

Easily. If there is one persistent fallacy that is repeated over and over again on these forums, that needs to be put to rest it's this "Bitcoin is unstoppable" and "we don't need anyone" foolishness. The Developers don't think it's unstoppable- and they know the code back to front.

 ...[redacted truth for brevity]

So can it with the "unsinkable ship" "they can't stop us" talk. Yes. They. Can. That does not mean they will- but it's pure hubris of the most ignorant sort to think it can't.

Everything in that post is right on the mark.  It should be posted as a sticky.  New members should have to read it and sign it like a microsoft license agreement.  
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June 18, 2011, 02:33:41 PM
 #20

Bitcoin's technology is unstoppable, like p2p filesharing has proven to be unstoppable. But "the Bitcoin Project" could fail in a bunch of different ways.

If mainstream people think "Oh, bitcoin is that internet thing used by criminals", that is bad for bitcoin. It might be bad enough to kill the project (note that I said "the project", not "the technology").

If bitcoin really does turn into an internet thing only used by criminals then I'll personally consider it a failed experiment and will find something else to do.


PS: the cbsnews interview was with Jeff, not me, and my last name is "Andresen"

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
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